Friday, October 8, 2010

Friday at the Huyck

Today was the last day of my week at the Huyck Preserve. I finished my piece of art work, packed up my gear, and finally took my walk from Lincoln Pond to the waterfall below Myosotis Lake. The weather was perfect, and the forest - mostly old Hemlock and Sugar Maple with Christmas, Maidenhair, and Wood ferns in herbaceous layer - was very beautiful. The Witch Hazel is blooming now, as it always does in October. See the little fringe-y growths at the twig tips? Those are the flowers.

And here is my collage that combines scans of two of my aster drawings done with technical pen and colored pencil, a scan of an old topographical map of the Preserve, scans of pages from Gray's Manual of Botany, and papers with acrylic paints. I also left my page of the original drawings. 
With the use of some transparency sheets, I also experimented with some photos I took of the light on the Lake. I printed on the transparencies (made for toner-type copiers - not really at all suitable!) with my little inkjet printer using the draft setting to avoid getting too much ink on the sheet. Then I transferred to watercolor paper using Golden matte medium on some and with plain water on others. I also had a small sheet of gold-colored foil (from a chocolate wrapper) and I glued some of it down with the medium before the transfer process. I really learned a lot! So, here are some of the results, showing the finished transfer with its original photo (remember that the transfer is a mirror-image of the photo):
original photo 1

matte medium with gold foil
original photo 2
water on substrate, no burnishing
water on same transparency, burnished
original photo 3
more water on substrate, slight burnishing on blacks
Today was also the day I said good by to the Brits (and 1 Aussie). I enjoyed each of them enormously. Things were awfully quiet once they drove away this morning to get the train in Hudson for NYC. Here they are:
Jenny & Dave

Carolyn (from Down Under)
Chris & Andy
CSA Interns, Adam, & British Trust Volunteers
Bon Voyage and Safe Travels to All.

Thursday at the Huyck

The big news today was SUN! Even though I spent most of the day in the studio, it is a huge relief to not have to slough through ever-growing puddles to get everywhere.

And, I did get some work moving along today. I used a scan of a page of draft aster drawings (that includes a few blips) to print on light-weight calligraphy paper.
I carefully wet then tore the paper around two of the drawings and started collaging them onto an 8"x8" canvas, along with a print of an old map of the Preserve, excerpts from Gray's Botany, and paper fragments.

Well, now it's Friday already! I went for dinner at the Palmer House Cafe in Rensselaerville last evening with the Brits (+ 1 Aussie) and the CSA interns here. What a celebration we had!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Wednesday from the Huyck

This is the same spot as the starting photo from yesterday. The rain didn't stop and the streams are all high again. Here is the waterfall near the Preserve office:
My plan to do some botanical drawings outdoors did not go well because of the deluge, so I am doing a different project for my offering to leave here. The drawing that I have done have been huge pleasures though, and I am grateful for this time and the place to focus on this process.
This evening I had the great pleasure of going to dinner at the home of my friends and former Saranac Lake neighbors Chad and Lisa Jemison and their beautiful daughters. Chad is the director now at the Huyck Preserve. What a lovely coincidence for me that they are just up the road from my little cabin here!



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday from the Huyck

The little stream outside my kitchen window is racing again after the hard rain all night. And it's still going. The view from my little cabin, The Bird House, is not really out of focus as I looked out at the Huyck Preserve's Lincoln Pond a few minutes ago. The blur is the steady downpour.
And it is fine with me, as I will go to my studio over in the research building soon to work for the day. There is much to inspire and motivate me there. The work of past Com.En.Art artists hangs everywhere in that building - bats, snakes, moths, insects, wildflowers, birds, habitats. All of it meticulously rendered and completely wonderful.

I have barely begun my serious work here, as I try to shake this bug I have that blurs my thoughts and lowers my energy. Sometimes that helps me to focus though. I have started drawings of some of the many aster species I find along the trails here. There are not many plants with open flowers now in early October, and I plan to relearn the asters every fall. This is an opportunity! Here is one little beauty that I quickly drew while sitting in the marshy north end of Lincoln Pond (as a Bald Eagle pair and a Common Raven cavorted overhead).
Last evening, my neighbor Heather (one of the six British Trust Conservation Volunteers staying in the adjacent cabin - more about this lively group later) came over for a drawing lesson. She really understood my teaching method (based on Betty Edwards' right-brained drawing concept) right away, and she left with the most lovely drawing of a lemon wedge. Perhaps she'll let me photograph it for you...  

Yesterday I needed groceries and so did 3 of the BTCV folks and Sarah, the other current artist-in-residence, so we all piled into my car and went to Greenville. On the way, we stopped to buy fresh produce at a farm stand. It was something new to the 2 Brits and 1 Australian, especially the Honor Box into which we crammed our small bills to pay for our gorgeous veggies. 


Monday, October 4, 2010

My Artist Residency

I arrived at the Huyck Preserve in Rensselaerville, NY on Friday near the end of an absolute deluge here in the upper Hudson Valley (and elsewhere). We had 5 inches of rain in about 24 hours. That afternoon seemed all about water! In any case, I am finally here in this beautiful place for my week as one of several ComEnArt Artists in Residence over this season. This program allows artists to stay for one or two weeks at the beautiful Preserve to work in a retreat-like setting. In return, the artist donates one or two pieces of artwork completed during the stay. I have contemplated applying for this residency for several years - finally got it together this year and I was pleased to be accepted.

I have been taking lots of photos (these are from my twilight walk to Myosotis Lake on Friday) and started some drawings that are helping me to narrow my focus and decide on a project to complete by Friday this week.

Now I am off to set up my studio in the research building. Rain is expected today, so it will be good time to settle in there.